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Commentary

Medved: GOP Debates Shouldn’t Be Limited To 10 6-5-15

Fox News made the unfortunate decision to limit the first Republican debate, scheduled for two months from now, to 10 participants, based on their standing in national polls. This will exclude some worthy contenders on a flimsy basis – including a candidate with 4 percent support, while a rival with 3 percent is excluded. Given that the margin of error in most polls—their admitted rate of inaccuracy—is at least 3-6 percent, this makes no sense. Also, ten candidates on stage is far too many since each prospective president will be limited to 5 minutes, maximum, to discuss all the big issues.

A much better plan would be something like this: the candidates should draw lots, dividing into three debates with five debaters each. As candidates quit the race, this can shrink to two groups, with eventually all survivors on stage together. It’s not too late to restructure debate plans for the sake of the party and the country.

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Brooks: Genuine Care For The Poor 6-4-15

This might come as a surprise to some of you, but I joined the free enterprise movement because poverty is the thing I care about the most. As we seek to alleviate poverty, I have summed up three policy principles that conservatives should seek to advance:

First: It’s time to declare peace on the safety net. You heard me right. Ronald Reagan believed in the safety net. Frederick Hayek believed in the safety net. It’s not a radical position. Indeed, the social safety net is one of the greatest achievements of free enterprise.

Second: The safety net should be limited to people who are truly indigent as opposed to being spread around in a way that metastasizes into middle class entitlements and imperils our economy.

And third: Help should always come with the dignifying power of work.

Then, with these three guiding principles, we can have a competition of policy ideas and begin to make some genuine progress.

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Hewitt: “Clearing The Haze” 6-3-15

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The Colorado Springs Gazette has published a special report on the impact of marijuana legalization on the Centennial State—a special section, called “Clearing the Haze” piloted by their editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen. The results are not pretty:

 

  • Legal marijuana has not raised a penny for the schools as promised but has instead created an enormous addiction problem among young Coloradans.

 

  • The state has also attracted cross-country criminals and indeed even the very cartels that proponents had hoped would be set back by legalization.

 

  • And the thousands of marijuana establishments that have sprung up are poorly regulated and the dope is particularly strong.

 

In short, it’s a public policy disaster. And it all remains very illegal under federal law. All that needs to happen is for a president and an attorney general to take note of the facts on the ground and act. Look for this issue to raise its head in the Republican presidential debates. And expect Colorado to try and find a way to put a very bad genie back in its bottle.

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Mohler: A Social Revolution 6-2-15

The nation of Ireland recently became the very first on the planet to legalize same-sex marriage by vote. In this case by a vote of the people, by a referendum. As the Associated Press reported, “Ireland’s citizens have voted in a landslide to legalize gay marriage . . . a stunningly lopsided result that illustrates what Catholic leaders and rights activists alike have called a ‘social revolution.’” It is, indeed, a social revolution and behind it more fundamentally, a worldview revolution and a moral revolution.

According to The Economist, “84 percent of the population regard themselves as Catholic.” Moreover, 71 percent of Irish young people—those aged 18 to 24—voted for same-sex marriage. The majority of these, I should point out, were educated in Catholic schools. Clearly, the big lesson here is that the Catholic Church failed to communicate their message in favor of traditional marriage to young people and to the nation at large in a convincing way. There’s a lesson here for those of us here in the United States.

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Medved: Blunting the Democrats “Youth Advantage” 6-1-15

The recent Democratic winning streak in presidential elections connects directly to the “youth advantage” enjoyed by Democratic candidates: the Democratic nominee has been younger than the GOP nominee in five of the last six of presidential contests, and the younger candidate each time won the popular vote. The only GOP victory came in 2004 when John Kerry was three years older than his one-time Yale classmate, George W. Bush. Democrats have benefited consistently from an edge among younger voters: in 2012 Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney with those between ages 18 and 29 by an almost two-to-one margin, while Romney prevailed among the 81% who were 30 and above.

In 2016, however, all prominent Republican candidates are younger than Hillary Clinton who’ll be 69 by Election Day. If the GOP nominates a youthful conservative leader like Rubio, Walker, Cruz or Paul, Republicans could blunt a Democratic edge that’s helped them sweep recent presidential contests.

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Medved: No, College Isn’t Right For Everyone 5-29-15

On my radio show, I’ve repeatedly made the controversial point that it’s a terrible mistake to push all students who graduate from high school to go on to college. A 2014 report showed that at public universities, an appalling 81 percent of full time students fail to graduate on time—and among the 580 major public universities, less than 10 percent graduated more than half their students in four years.

At two-year community colleges, the situation is even worse: 85 percent fail to get degrees or certificates on time, or may never earn them. What this means is that students who don’t belong in college accumulate huge debts with no career benefit. Paying for a few semesters of university while earning no degree won’t help in the job market. This record could even hurt, indicating problems at finishing what you’ve started. Too many Americans are pressured into college today—young people who can’t gain practically from educational goals they won’t fulfill.

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Medved: Minimum Wage Fever Threatens Both Prosperity And Liberty 5-28-15

The Los Angeles City Council has voted to raise the city’s minimum wage from $9 to $15 an hour, ordering sharp raises every year between now and 2020. A New York Times editorial insists that business leaders need not worry, despite the fact that they’ll have to pay all their least skilled workers $48 more for every day they come to work. “The added cost of higher wages is offset by savings from lower labor turnover and higher productivity,” wrote the Times.

In other words, they suggest that journalists and politicians know more about getting the most from workers than the job creators who actually employ them—and have the right to impose their decisions on businesses that are already struggling. This radical move in the nation’s second largest city is not only a threat to prosperity but a threat to liberty—imposing the economic judgment of politicians on private businesses that may not agree.

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